So, okay, whether you followed the "Running for Sunkissed Acres" thread or not, the long and short of it is that my non-horsey BF is coming out to Kansas again this week and is going to take his first-ever-ever riding lesson on Friday. I just scheduled a private lesson for us together at the barn with my former instructor.
I realize now that, certainly if Marathon Man did not own a pair of jeans, he clearly does not have any riding clothes! Good heavens! What do I need to do to try to make this the most positive experience for him possible? We already have him lined up to ride the world's safest horse, who, by the way, is a wonderfully masculine-looking older quarter horse that any man's man would be proud to ride! ha ha!
Pointers please? I do not want this to be both the first and last time my honey dares to get on a horse. Thanks!
Make sure then that your instructor understands that you don't expect to get any instruction. Whenever I have set up a lesson (skiing etc) with a beginner in which I also participated, it didn't work too well because the instructor was torn between giving me something to do and actually teaching the beginner.
Will you be showing him up by being a better rider?
Might consider just letting him take the lesson and you video or something so you'll have something fun to watch and share later, and it will keep you busy and not "judging" from the sidelines.
Advise him to contain his boys. Years ago, I gave an old boyfriend a few lessons on my trusty old mare. He kept slouching and sitting on his butt, rather than on his seatbones. When I told him to sit up, he explained that he, um, couldn't. So, I talked to a male rider friend of mine who advised me to tell him to arrange them upward and to the side.
What I'm trying to say is don't let him ride in boxers. And make it fun for him.
Well, I don't think I would be "showing him up" by riding with him, but I will give it some thought. I haven't had a lesson in more than 2 years, and I am NOT expecting (or wanting) anything more than the chance to get up and ride indoors. But I will give it some thought. And I will ask my instructor what she thinks, too. Good point and something to consider.
What about boots? This is just a first lesson, not his one-and-only (I hope!). But no, he is not likely to ever jump a fence or even want to. What he wants to do is go out to this ranch which is nearby this spring and trail ride ... and he does not want THAT to be the first time he gets on a horse. His exact words were, "I don't want to look like a fool."
So, I certainly do not want him to feel like a fool this Friday, either!
Get him a pair of Justin work/riding boots or even a pair of Ariat endurance boots. They are super comfy to walk around in all day and don't look like riding boots. Mr. MM can wear them around the farm, hiking, etc. I love mine.
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
PalominoMorgan -- THANK YOU! That's exactly what I will do!
Is everyone agreed, then, that he will be okay to wear his one and only brand spanking new pair of jeans? Or should I buy him a certain type / cut for riding?
Ummmm ... does he need to wear an athletic cup? And I only even know of these things because I raised two boys ... who played other sports ... but ... I have no idea what men wear riding. Gosh, I really want this to go well for him!
My hubby rides in any old jeans and his motorcycle boots - don't worry about special gear! I think old jeans are better than new, because they are not so stiff & tight. It's not like he'll be galloping around for hours, so I don't think chafing etc. are going to be big problems.
And I'd agree, let him have the lesson alone, and have yours separately, so the instructor can pay attention to one person at a time. He will get much more out of it that way, and you can take pictures or video of each other.
I don't know what brand his one-and-only jeans are, but Wranglers are made for riding in that the inseam is a single seam and flat, not the bulky, doubled flat-fell seams in many other brands of jeans. They are known to be more comfortable for riding. However, for a first lesson, I don't think this will be a big issue. It IS a big help to have a pair of riding jeans that are several inches longer than what he usually wears, as the leg rides up a big when you sit on a horse and you can get stirrup rubs if the jeans are so short that the leg above the boots gets exposed. The jeans should "stack" over the boots so that they don't drag on the ground when walking, and then reach low enough on the boot when mounted to prevent riding up.
Be careful about work-type boots that have very thick soles; these can be a bad fit in stirrups. Most riding boots have a somewhat thinner sole and this can be a safety issue (thick soled boots can hang up in a sitrrup). The Ariat Terrain boots are comfortable, made for riding, and not so riding-looking that they can't be worn for other activities. If you can get them large enough (they do come in men's sizes, but not above size 12 or so), this would be a good choice.
I second not riding in the same lesson. It can be difficult to teach two riders of widely varying ability. Maybe take separate lessons, you first so he can see what a lesson is like, and then a lesson when the instructor can concentrate on him.
"One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine
I think this is wonderful. Now for my recommendations, no funny pants LOL Lets not take away his pride yet. The horse will eventually do it for him. I think comfort is first and foremost. So, a pair of wranglers that he can break in for farm work as well. And yes, a manly pair of boots that again can double for doing the manly stuff at the barn. He can scuff them up a bit in the sawdust and manure so they dont look too new. nothing worse than a cowboy in shiny pointy boots that have never seen manure nor ever will.
I agree with the separate lessons. A together trail ride, but separate lessons. You can each watch and film the other and then watch, discuss and share. Oh how romantic. He is interested in what you do.
You go girl.
Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.
Jeans should be fine, although it would be better if they're not really tight. Have him stand with his feet spread as far as they would be on a horse and crouch down (like a 2-point position). If the jeans are too tight for him to hold it, or the waistband won't let him breathe, go shopping for a more, um, relaxed fit.
Ditto the wrangler for riding with the flat inside seam. Within Wranglers there are loose jeans for roping (gallop 5-6 seconds and either throw your loop and/or jump off and tie the calf) and tighter cuts for longer riding times- like the Working Cowhorse event going on at AQHA right now. Make sure the jeans stack- IOW, are long enough to cover the tops of the boots once mounted when the knee is bent. The biggest concern will be a leg rub- a tall, tight nylon sock or pair of snug chaps will help prevent that.